For stray cats and dogs, discarded tires are often their shelter. In the Brazilian city of Campina Grande, a struggling artist decided to make this home better for the strays. So, he repurposes tires that have been thrown away and turns them into colorful and comfortable beds for the strays.
Campina Grande has a huge stray problem. There are more than 5 times as many stray animals as there are homeless people in the city. Silva thus took it upon himself to do something positive for the streets, including the animals.
The Start Of Silva’s Journey
Only 4 years ago, Silva was still a supermarket store employee. He was the same as a lot of other 21-year-olds. However, Silva always had a dream – to be self-employed. To his credit, the youngster never gave up trying to find ways of making that dream come true.
Silva also had a creative streak and was quite a good artist. His special fascination lay in repurposing materials that were no longer needed. That’s when he noticed the habit of the local stray dogs to take shelter in discarded tires during the night.
The artistic mind of Silva immediately latched on to the thought. So, the first thing he did was collect as many unwanted tires as he could. He scoured everywhere for them: landfills, parking lots, and of course, the streets of the city.
Now, being self-employed is not easy. It is even tougher when one has to start from scratch. But the youngster knew that the best way he could be a successful entrepreneur is by doing something he loves. So, the young artist combined a lot of the things he was passionate about and upcycled discarded tires into fabulous ornate beds for pets. This became his business idea.
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The Environment Service Of Upcycling Tires
Silva’s artistic business comes with more than one benefit. Firstly, Silva managed to provide the stray cats and dogs of the city with some much-needed shelter. Silva had always wanted to do something for them. Secondly, on a much larger scale, Silva is also helping out the environment and the people by reducing tire waste substantially.
To put things in perspective, the typical rubber tires can take well over half a century to decompose. However, his first prototypes were quite different from his current products. After all, Silva was not an expert at the craft back then.
Nevertheless, after he had enough tires, the artist began to experiment with how he could transform them. After a few weeks of fine-tuning the process, he was able to make the tiny rubber sanctuaries that both homeless animals and pets can use.
After he was satisfied with his product, Silva sold the first 6 pet beds made from upcycled tires to some of his grocery store co-workers. That was the start of his business, which has now proven to be lucrative as well as life-changing.
The Journey Of Silva And The Tires
The first thing Silva does is shape the tires into the pieces and shapes that he needs. Then, he scrubs them vigorously. After that, he adds a coat of fresh paint that both acts as decoration and a sealant for the ongoing pet bed.
Then, Silva adds special animal customizations like heart shapes, paws, and bones, and the name too (if the customer wants it). Then comes the process of making it comfortable. He places nice and soft cushions at the base, which he then sews on with beautiful printed fabric. This makes the base for the tire bed. Finally, the rest of the fabric is sewn into a pillow that matches the bed. Take a look at an example below:
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Stunning, isn’t it?
But that was just the beginning. As Silva’s upcycled tire beds got more attention, local events and schools began inviting him. Today, the young artist is not only running a successful business but also teaching the people around him about sustainability.
Currently, He runs Cãominhas Pets. He also makes other things out of the discarded tires as well now, like big colorful planters, or durable, nifty recycling containers. His latest project involves making sustainable furniture and festival-worthy holiday decorations from the tires.
Green Matters, the blog on environmental news, reached out to Silva about the significance of his initiative. There Silva said:
“Over the course of two years, I already removed 1,500 units of old tires from the environment making only the [pet beds]. This certainly makes a very big positive impact on nature.”
That 1500 is now actually closer to 6000, considering all his other projects involving recycled tires. Silva’s work is a real-life story of how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. At the same time, perhaps we can all do with trying to find the potential in things we don’t need anymore, instead of just mindlessly throwing them away.
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- “Brazilian Artist Uses The Used Tires That People Throw In The Streets To Create Beds For Animals.” Bored Panda. Hidrėlėy
- “Guy Turns Old Tires Into Beautiful Cozy Beds For 6,000 Stray Dogs And Cats in Brazil.” Good News Network. Judy Cole. November 22, 2021.
- “Young Artist Upcycles Old Car Tires Into Pet Beds That Are as Adorable as They Are Eco-Friendly.” Green Matters. Sophie Hirsh. February 12, 2019.